AW Vehicle Review - 2004 Mazda 6 Five Door

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, May 28, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Six into Three: Mazda adds two derivatives to its successful 6 formula

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    By NATALIE NEFF
    (08:30 May 24, 2004)

    You're the sporty sort, practical, sure, but still desirous of carving up a few canyon roads now and then. So you passed on the Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys of the world for the more spirited-if not necessarily faster-Mazda 6. Smart choice, we think, from the enthusiast angle.

    Suddenly, out of nowhere, you find you need to haul more stuff. A lot of stuff. What's a car enthusiast to do? Buy an SUV? Bah!

    Thankfully, Mazda has an answer, offering the terrific 6 in two new stuff-friendly styles, a five-door hatchback and a wagon.

    Like the sedan, the five-door comes with a choice of powerplants. The 2.3-liter 160-hp I4 does duty in base, or i-trim, cars. Moving up to the s model gets you the 3.0-liter V6 with a lot more go, a full 220-hp and 192-lb-ft worth. Both come mated to a five-speed manual, but if you insist on a slushbox, you can get a four-speed unit in i trim while s models get a five-speed.

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    The real beauty of the five-door (any five-door, for that matter) lies in its flexibility. You get the passenger convenience of a four-door with a whole lot more cargo-carrying ability, and you don't suffer the extra weight of a station wagon or its prosaic, suburban (ick!) shape. It makes for the best compromise between utility and dignity we can think of.

    Dimensionally, the five-door differs from the sedan only in rear headroom, with back-seat passengers losing just 0.4 inch to that sloping hatch shape. In exchange, gear-carrying space increases by 6.8 cubic feet. Folding the rear seats-using a nifty lever located near the liftgate and without removing the headrests-enlarges that to 58.7 cubic feet of nearly flat floor space. And with a hatch opening among the most gaping we've seen, the Mazda 6 five-door looks like a best bet for people with moderate but regular cargo-carrying requirements.

    The bonus: With the five-door you get the sharpest styling of the 6 lineup.

    In profile, the five-door could easily pass for a coupe, the hatch's liftgate never interrupting the graceful slope of the roofline. It also comes standard with a sport package (which costs extra on the other two models) that includes more aggressive ground effects all around, integrated fog lights, a rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tips and a body-colored grille.

    The hatchback offers up so much to love in the area of convenience and style, but it also delivers a more-than-gratifying driving experience with road manners that match the sedan's. It gives up a bit in the weight department, tipping the scales at 3166 pounds, or 121 more than the four-door. But with larger standard wheels shod in 215/50R-17 V-rated all-seasons and an identical suspension setup-double wishbones up front, multilink rear and anti-roll bars fore and aft-the five-door feels just as sure-footed when pushed hard.

    The Mazda 6 wagon comes dressed only in s trim, meaning it only comes with the six-cylinder. You still get the manual-a wagon with a manual, très cool-or the five-speed auto optional.

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    Just like the hatchback, the Mazda 6 wagon features fold-flat rear seats, but in this case cargo space expands from 33.7 cubic feet to 60.4 cubic feet. Credit its shape with giving rear passengers an additional 1.5 inches of headroom over the sedan, or 38.6 total.

    The standard sport package found on the five-door is available for the wagon, and includes all the same features. A luxury package is also available on both models, as is a Bose audio package.

    On sale now, the Mazda 6 i five-door starts at $21,315 including a $520 destination charge. That stacks up nicely against the competition.

    Speaking of which, Mazda claims its 6 is the only midsize five-door hatchback offered for sale in the States. We'd argue the eco-friendly Toyota Prius (with 96.2 cubic feet of passenger volume, 16.1 cubic feet of cargo space and a sticker of $20,810), the eccentric Chevrolet Malibu Maxx (106.0/22.8/$24,725) and the economical Hyundai Elantra GT (94.0/12.9/$15,389) all fall into the same category. We'd also argue that none of them offers anywhere near the same combination of performance and styling as the Mazda, from the enthusiast angle.

    Look for stickers on the sport wagons to start at $22,745. And look for us looking forward to trying them all.

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    2004 MAZDA 6 S FIVE-DOOR

    ON SALE: Now
    BASE PRICE: $23,415
    POWERTRAIN: 3.0-liter, 220-hp, 192-lb-ft V6; fwd, five-speed manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 3336 pounds
    0 TO 60 MPH: 7.3 seconds (est.)

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  2. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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    Neat car, I'd pimp it. :cool:
     
  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  4. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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    I have low standards now... my budget for a car has been reduced to below $4000. So pretty much anything looks nicer than what I'll be driving for the next few years. :hs:
     
  5. Confused

    Confused OT Supporter

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    pimp car for a great price
     
  6. Ry-Ballz

    Ry-Ballz This sucks, change the channel

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    I like my sedan version
     
  7. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    i like how manufacturers make the cars look like coupes/sedans but which have the utility of a hatchback
     
  8. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    That sucks man. :(
     
  9. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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    In the end I will be better for it. :) Just planning ahead....
     
  10. sduquette

    sduquette Guest

    I wouldn't own a Mazda, rather have a hyundai, better quality.

    On a side note, a friend of mine has a 4 cylinder 6, and the CE light comes on, dealer fixes it, and a few weeks later, it comes back on, any suggestions, it's been in a rediculous number of times.
     
  11. LoveBack

    LoveBack Guest

    Here's a suggestion; let your "friend" deal with it if you think it's so "rediculous."

    Or steer him towards your beloved Hyundai since they're so perfect in your eyes.
     
  12. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    I wouldn't say it's a great price. similarly equipped to the Accord and Camry, it costs about the same. Mazda should be much cheaper, especially with the old, weak engine.
     
  13. LoveBack

    LoveBack Guest

    ^I've read a lot of stupid posts on this board, and that was right up there near the top of the dumbest. If it's similarly equipped then it should be priced similarly, genius.

    For what you get, it's priced just right. At least it isn't $30k when fully loaded like the CamCord or Passatima.
     
  14. lilpbody10

    lilpbody10 Guest

    I like the exterior.
     
  15. Josepi

    Josepi HA HA, I CHANGED MY AV

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    I know I'm not the only human being that can wring good experience out of a mazda...

    I'd buy that...I like the function of it...it > wagon. :squint:
     
  16. Ex Inferis

    Ex Inferis Shut the fuck up OT Supporter

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  17. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    It's a Japanese name, but not Japanese quality. It doesn't deserve to carry that high of a price tag.
     
  18. LoveBack

    LoveBack Guest

    Again, stupid post. Mazda is every bit as high quality as the Japanese big 3, and a little research on your part would show that.

    Seeing as how the 6 has had fewer issues and fewer TSB's in its first year than the Accord or Altima (don't know about the Camry since Toyota doesn't exist to me), what does that say about Honda or Nissan? I'll tell you what it says; they are slipping while Mazda is quietly gaining.
     
  19. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    How about keeping the flaming on OT. It's true there's been fewer TSB's, but there should be more, because I was a regular on the Edmunds Mazda6 forums, and they have had a lot of complaints. The worst is the rusting on the top of the doors within a week of purchase. Mazda claims this is a manufacturing defect...duh. They didn't spray it properly. This defect pretty much swayed me away from this car.
     
  20. 9volt

    9volt If you see me running, try to keep up

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    the FWD was more of a deterrent for me.
     
  21. boyripn

    boyripn Guest

    Mazda6 so beatiful! My father using Mazda626 Cronos too.My family like Mazda,it's beautiful!
     

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